The crusade for an R18+ game rating in Australia has crossed another hurdle.
Last month, the federal government introduced a new classification bill to include an R18+ rating for video games by 2013. Currently, the highest classification for games in Australia is MA15+, which means titles that exceed this rating cannot be legally sold.
That R18+ bill was sent for an inquiry. Today, the committee in charge of the inquiry came back in favour of the an R18+ rating for video games in Australia. The committee found that the proposed bill was not controversial and merely "seeks to align the existing classification system for computer games with the system that applies to films."
“The Committee is satisfied that the evidence demonstrates overwhelming support for an R18+ Restricted classification for computer games," the Committee report states.
The legislation still needs to be passed before the bill becomes a reality, though all of the State Governments have already approved the introduction of the rating.
The debate over Australia’s lack of an adult rating for video games has been raging for years, with a string of high-profile games refused classification by the Australian Classification Board. The introduction of an 18+ rating will allow games to be legally sold that contain content deemed unacceptable for people under 15.
The new rating will bring gaming in line with the classification systems used for film and television, with a G, PG, M, MA15+ and R18+ rating.